New rules in effect to prevent financial exploitation

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Monday, the Michigan Attorney General’s office announced that new rules for preventing financial exploitation of vulnerable adults have gone into effect.

The new rules are designed to prevent things like the “distressed loved one scam,” which a Williamston couple recently fell victim to.

The Financial Exploitation Prevention Act (FEPA) requires financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to identify and report the exploitation of their customers. It also allows those institutions to freeze transactions when they suspect exploitation, and gives a degree of immunity for liability to financial institutions who take actions in the interest of protecting their customers from exploitation.

“Victims of financial exploitation do not usually know they are being taken advantage of, which is why it is so important that our financial institutions have the tools and training they need to help keep vulnerable individuals safe,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “This Act increases protections for Michiganders from unscrupulous individuals trying to exploit them.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel said, “The partnership between financial institutions, prosecutors, Adult Protective Services, and law enforcement will result in earlier detection and successful prosecution of those that prey on our vulnerable citizens.”

The law creating these rules was signed in Dec. 2020 and officially took effect in late Sept. 2021. Now, financial institutions will have had time to create their policies, and the public may start seeing these protections in action.

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